I thought I would check in with a little update of my time in Malawi. I literally would be talking for ages if I went over ever single detail of this life changing and incredible trip but I wanted to share just a few details with you and perhaps encourage you to join them on their next volunteer trip in April.
I thought I would summarise some of the FAQ about the trip.
What is Malawi Like?
Malawi is an amazing country. Sadly it falls in the shadow of some countries with a far higher poverty profile, thanks to companies that profit from their image. But Malawi, like some of its East African counterparts, is subject living well below the poverty line. However, it’s not how I imagined, that every where I look I would be reduced to tears with the level of suffering. Things are bad, make no mistake but the locals are so warm, welcoming and friendly, you see past the poverty and you see how rich the culture is. Every where you look people are smiling and swapping and sharing what little they have. There is a strong sense of community spirit and an empowerment through the medium of LOVE. The colours were so vibrant that at every turn there was something to excite you and capture your imagination. This is without even mentioning the sheer natural ore of Lake Malawi. It’s an oasis of lush green plants, white sands and crystal clear water- the whole blooming place looks like an Instagram post.
What Did You Get Up Too?
We got up to so much it was crazy! We had 5 days of Volunteering around 2 days at Lake Malawi at the Kande Horse Ranch. and a lot of traveling. We spent time at Tilinanu Orphanage with the 34 girls who reside there perminantly. These girls are amazing, the orphanage is amazing. The staff ensure the girls have an education, eat regularly and have plenty to time to enjoy a child hood. We spent time at Mkhunkhu School which was increidble. The wonderful people at LucyBee coconut oil donated 10kg to the local community. Now I used to be part of the group that thought the hype was crazy but coconut oil is a fanastic product. The cocnut oil helped treat ring worm for the children and also works to reduce scars and blemishses so the ladies loved it! The oil is naturally antibacterial too. I can’t wait to start cooking with it and using it on my skin. We also stopped by a baby orphanage where we saw the power of baby massage in helping the babies intellectual development along with Little Blossoms Project Malawi. They also took us to visit the community shelter that promote baby massage in the community. It may sound crazy but not only does it help bond parents and babies in times of trouble but it helps shape their brains and promote early learning. The chairty aims to empower people with skills and ideas so that the locals can work towards a brighter future. Forget the concept of white people coming in and throwing money at a project with no protection to the community to move forward- Love Support Unite uses local business experts and local teachers and staff to help people manage money, food, seed, life stock and other items so they can become self reliant- how awesome is that?
What Was The HighLight Of Your Trip?
The highlight was painting the community center in one of the areas in which LSU support. The charity tries to stay away from the community as much as possible to help them from a distance, this encourages independence but when they do visit with the volunteers twice a year, we had the greeting of a life time. We were greeted with dancers, singers, music and an electric atmosphere. We painted their school room with images of love and hope while the children danced outside. After there was a ceremony to thank the charity which was topped off by a performance by the local dancers. This was really a true display of African culture- the traditional tribal dancing gave me goose bumps! I couldn’t go without saying the retreat at Kande Horse was excellent. I went bareback riding for the first time and we swam with the horses in the Lake- what an experience. I highly recommend you stay there when in at Lake Malawi.
What Is Your Advice For Future Volunteers?
For future volunteers, I would say you simply must make the most of your visit. I would say, stay out another few days and head onto safari after. I would stay longer at Kande Horse after the volunteer trip and spend more time snorkeling and driving in the Lake which has the biggest ecosystem on any lake globally, it was amazing. I would also be sure to be open to all experiences. Malawi in a country so full of things to teach us! Love Support Unite have a unique program, I really think they are on the right track and I hope they take their ideas global. The next trip is in April and I highly recommend you join me!